Mont. blocks out-of-state trout egg shipments

December 22, 2011 - 4:20 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials are holding up shipments of tens of thousands of trout eggs from a federal fish hatchery to other states, as Gov. Brian Schweitzer seeks to pressure the Interior Department into changing the way it manages another species — bison.

Federal and state officials said Thursday that two trout egg shipments scheduled for this week to Utah and New Hampshire have been delayed. Three shipments within the state have been approved.

Schweitzer signed an order last week prohibiting any fish or wildlife shipments by the Interior Department without state approval.

The eggs were to be hatched in the receiving states and then used to stock local waterways with trout. Officials say the eggs will have to be destroyed if they're not shipped by Jan. 2.

Interior officials have rebuffed Schweitzer's proposal to allow bison hunting in parts of Yellowstone National Park to help control an animal disease. They've also resisted his idea to relocate some disease-free bison to the National Bison Range.